As I write this, it is a beautiful clear morning. Earlier I went out for a walk up to the lake near where we live, reminded by sprayed paint markings on the ground of the 1.5 metre rule. This said, everything was calm and peaceful.
I appreciate that probably for many of us, perhaps all, the past couple of weeks or so have had plenty of moments where it has not felt anything like calm or peaceful! I think it is okay and healthy to acknowledge if that has been so.
Some words from the Old Testament have been going around my head,
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (English Standard Version)
These words come from the prophet Jeremiah amid a heart-broken lament about the destruction of Jerusalem and community life and the exile of the inhabitants to a city area 100s of miles away. Words like devastating and distressing would more readily fit what he was facing, than descriptions like calm and peaceful that I used above.
Yet in the midst of all this seeming hopelessness that Jeremiah is experiencing, he finds fresh hope in God and speaks of how each day God’s love and mercies are new and that His faithfulness is great.
We are in the period of Lent – a time of preparation for Easter weekend where we focus on Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. The love of God in action, amid what at face value must have seemed like a shattering of their world for his disciples, when Christ died.
However these days are going for us amid the realities of the corona-virus measures, may we find fresh encouragement. Let’s be mindful of others in prayer, including those working in essential services as well as those who are ill, for those who are grieving. Where we can, let’s be offering encouragement and support to others too.
I totally appreciate that for some reading this, you may well feel at your limits already, so reaching out to someone else could seem too much. Please be gracious to yourself and not let anything in this blog post be an extra pressure.
Whatever our circumstances, I encourage us all to seek to find time to rest and recharge – probably good to have some fun too if possible.
A song we have sung at times as a community includes the words,
‘Your love never fails, and never gives up
It never runs out on me’
(One Thing Remains, Bethel Music)
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases…
That was true in Jeremiah’s time and it is true for 2020.